Summary of Maryland's Foreclosure Process - Financial Regulation
The following section summarizes the process for residential mortgage foreclosures in Maryland and provides a brief explanation of the documents you may receive. This is not intended to constitute legal advice. For information particular to your situation, please seek out the advice of an attorney or housing counselor. An additional summary of foreclosure proceedings in Maryland is available on the Maryland State Bar Association website. See also this infographic created by Maryland housing counseling and legal service agencies.
Notice of Intent to Foreclose (NOI)
- The NOI is a warning notice to the homeowner that a foreclosure action could be filed against them in court.
- The mortgage company must send the NOI by certified and first-class mail to the homeowner no less than 45 days before a foreclosure action is filed in court.
- The NOI may include a Loss Mitigation Application. If the homeowner is interested in working with the mortgage company to avoid foreclosure, they need to complete and submit the Loss Mitigation Application.
- Maryland law requires the mortgage company to send a copy of the NOI to the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation. The Commissioner’s Office sends outreach letters to homeowners who have received an NOI and uses the NOI data for trend analysis and examination of mortgage companies under the Office’s supervision.
Order to Docket (OTD)
- The OTD is the first filing of the foreclosure action in court. It may also be called a “Complaint to Foreclose” or “Notice of Foreclosure Action”.
- The homeowner will be personally served with an OTD if no loss mitigation option is agreed upon after the NOI, or if a loss mitigation decision is still pending.
- The OTD can be filed in court as soon as 90 days after the first missed mortgage payment (or 120 days if the loan is covered by federal law).
- The OTD will include either a Preliminary or Final Loss Mitigation Affidavit.
- A Preliminary Loss Mitigation Affidavit will be filed if the mortgage company has not started or not yet completed the loss mitigation review. Once the mortgage company completes the review, and if there are no available alternatives to foreclosure, a Final Loss Mitigation Affidavit will then be filed and mailed to homeowner.
- A Final Loss Mitigation Affidavit will be filed if the mortgage company has completed the loss mitigation review and believes there are no alternatives to foreclosure available to the homeowner. For eligible owner-occupied properties, this affidavit will come with a “Request for Foreclosure Mediation” form.
Foreclosure Mediation (optional for eligible homeowners)
- Mediation is an in-person hearing between the homeowner, their mortgage company, and a neutral third party (called an “administrative law judge”). The homeowner must be living in the property in order to be eligible for mediation.
- The purpose of mediation is to give all parties an opportunity to openly discuss alternatives to foreclosure. To increase the chances of a successful mediation, the homeowner should come to the hearing with all loss mitigation documents.
- The homeowner has 25 days to request foreclosure mediation after receipt, or date of mailing, of the Final Loss Mitigation Affidavit. The homeowner should submit the Request for Mediation form as soon as possible with the $50 fee to their county Circuit Court. The mediation request will be forwarded to the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). OAH will assign an administrative law judge, and schedule and hold the mediation hearing within 60 days after transmittal of the request for mediation.
- Homeowners who have requested mediation should watch their mail – notice of the date of their mediation hearing will come from the OAH. If a homeowner fails to appear for their mediation, OAH will notify the court and the foreclosure sale will be scheduled.
- More information about foreclosure mediation can be found on the Maryland HOPE website.
Foreclosure Sale and Eviction
- The foreclosure sale (also referred to as the “foreclosure auction”) is when the mortgage company sells the property secured by the mortgage loan.
- If the borrower does not request mediation, the sale can occur as soon as 45 days after receipt of a Final Loss Mitigation Affidavit, or 30 days from the date the Final Loss Mitigation Affidavit was mailed to the homeowner.
- If the borrower requests mediation, the sale can occur as soon as 15 days after a mediation hearing if no agreement is reached.
- After a foreclosure sale, the homeowner has 30 days from the date of a report of sale to file an objection to the sale in court. If no objections are filed, or if the objections filed are overruled by the judge, then the court will ratify the sale. Ratification is necessary before title transfers to the purchaser.
- The homeowner can be evicted from the property as soon as 15 days after the court ratifies the sale. Homeowners are encouraged to plan for alternative housing earlier in the process to avoid a forced eviction. However, if a homeowner vacates the property before the mortgage company or other purchaser takes possession, he/she may still be responsible for property maintenance, taxes and related charges.